Saturday 14 October 2006

Fintan Gavin - Profile

Fintan Gavin - Profile
By Mick McCloskey

I recently had the opportunity to talk to Fintan Gavin, founder and master of ceremonies of the VC Poker sponsored Irish Poker Tour.
37 year old Fintan was born in Dublin but his family moved to Galway in the late 1970’s. He now runs his own transport business there and is married to Fiona.
Fintan explained that he had been brought up in a card playing family, as indeed many Irish families are. His mother was big into the card game 25’s and he recalls starting to play draw poker at the age of 10 or 11. He started to play hold’em about three years ago and got totally hooked on the game, playing mostly online, because there was really no live alternative in the west of Ireland. Soon after he got married he went to Las Vegas and played some there and he now travels to the odd tournament in England and Amsterdam. He went to a few charity events around Galway but says that these were generally poorly run and were not the real deal. As far as he was concerned, they were not a good experience for any decent poker player. In the absence of any decent events in his area he decided to get off his butt and do something about it. He decided to run his own tournaments. Fintan’s brother has his own events management company and suggested that he should look for sponsorship. He suggested that to run any event properly needed backing and financial support. The idea was to run a series of tournaments, in Galway initially, but also in other parts of Ireland and to take poker out of the casino environment and into a more accessible and, for a lot of people, the more comfortable surroundings of a quality hotel. The idea clicked with the people at VC Poker and so the Irish Poker Tour was born. The tour consists of a series of small buyin satellites, and regional super satellites which will culminate in July when the final 16 qualifiers will battle it out, in front of the TV cameras, for a prize pool of €100,000, as well as a £5,000 entry to the VC Cup, for the winner. Bringing poker to the people.
Fintan has future plans for more provincial qualifying events, leading to an all Ireland tournament and the possibility of an Irish poker team to compete in international team events. He hopes that, with the support of the general poker community, he can establish provincial and inter-provincial events, to bring the cream of Irish players to the top and also to involve Irish players based overseas, in the establishment of an Irish team. He wants to bring tournament poker to the general public in a form where it can be recognised more as a sport than as gaming. He has even gone as far as applying to the Irish Sports Council for official recognition, but feels he is knocking his head against a brick wall there. But at least he is knocking.
Fintan paid tribute to the generous sponsorship of VC Poker and to the sound advice of seasoned veterans such as Christy Smith of Dublin. He also commended the top class job being carried out by his tournament director, Donal MacAonaghusa and his hard working assistant Richard Nielson.
We, at Poker Europa, wish to commend Fintan on his hard work and initiave so far, and to wish him every success for his future plans for Irish Poker.
For further information on the Irish Poker Tour log onto or call 091 799990.


Following on from my stories about poker fate and coincidence in the March edition of Poker Europa, I had another experience recently. I had just set out from home to drive to Dublin to play in the Fitzwilliam Pokerfest. I had just turned onto the main road when a black cat ran straight across the road in front of me. Now I’ve always been told that this is a sign of good luck, so I felt pretty good about it. So good that I went on to win the tournament that night. Is it just me or what? Anyone know where I can get a black cat?

I recently played in the Blackpool Bonanza. This was an excellent and generally well run event. However I found one ruling a little odd. A new player came to an empty seat from a broken table. He was the last player to come from the broken table and most of the other players from that table had already found their new seats. He sat down in the big blind position but, it was ruled that, as the blinds had already been posted, although no cards had been dealt, he was allowed to sit out both his big blind and his small blind. This then meant he had a full round of deals before he was forced to put a chip in the pot. Can this be right?

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